Before Seattle Sounders defender Joevin Jones won an MLS Cup, was third in Major League Soccer in assists in 2017 and has firmly implemented himself as arguably the league’s best fullback, he plied his trade in Chicago.
On Saturday, when the Sounders visit Toyota Park to take on the Fire (6 p.m. PT; ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360AM), Jones will return for the first time.
“It’s always a pleasure to play against your old side,” Jones said on Thursday. “I have nothing to prove, I’m just coming to play my normal game…I have some good memories here, it’s always great to see my ex-teammates.”
Jones and Sounders midfielder Harry Shipp were teammates in Chicago in 2015 before Chicago traded both away following that season. Shipp went to the Montreal Impact while the Sounders traded their first-round pick in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft for Jones.
It was’t that Jones wasn’t effective in Chicago — he started 26 games and had one goal and one assists after joining the Fire from Finland’s HJK Helsinki — but the Trinidadian international has truly upped his game in his year-plus in Seattle and continues to flourish.
“I’ve developed more in Seattle,” Jones said. “[It’s] the players around me. They’ve helped me grow and become a better player.”
The most pressing task at hand for Jones is leading his new team into his old team’s building, a place where they have yet to lose this season, and earning a result. This will be Seattle’s first road match since routing the LA Galaxy 3-0 on April 23 and the Sounders are hoping to replicate that success.
“Every game I’m looking to have an impact,” said Jones, “but my main goal is to play well and make sure the team wins.”